David Baakman

Book Review: It’s Not About The Bike [L. Armstrong]

I bought (the Dutch translation) this book almost a year ago at the local supermarket (hey, it was cheap, and it looked better than the other cheap books, and it was next to the waiting line for the cash register :)), but until recently I’ve never read it. Only on the trip to Prague I started to read it (I also took ‘Managing Software Requirements’ [Leffingwell, Widrig] with me, but that book was a bit too heavy for a holiday).

To jump to conclusions right away: I really enjoyed the book. Well, enjoyed is not the right word, the topic of the book is too serious for that. But it really moved me. And to such an extend that in Prague I decided to buy the successor: ‘Every Second Counts’.

The book reads very easily, I almost read it in one session. The book tells the story of the life of Armstrong, from his childhood, his first years as a professional cyclist, the cancer that stuck him, his victory over cancer until winning his first Tour.

As a person who isn’t a cylist fanatic, I only knew Armstrong as one of the best cyclists ever; someone like Indurain, Merckx, etc. And of course I knew that once he had cancer. But after reading the book I have even more respect for him than I already had.

The majority of the book is about his fight with cancer, the difficult decisions he had to make, the change of survival and the importance of life. Reading the book gives you a lot to think about. But it is written in such a way that it you can read through it without having to read every page three times.